What Is Life Coaching?

The simplest explanation is that life coaching closes the gap between where you are now and where you want to be.

Life coaching is a powerful relationship that will bring:

  • clarity to your vision
  • balance to your days, and
  • renewed joy and purpose to your life

Coaching is a safe, objective place to talk about the challenges you face in ministry or in life. You’ll find that an authentic, accountable relationship with a coach who believes in you will enable you to do things you never could on your own.

Life coaching is about you. Life coaching is not therapy, counseling, advice-giving, discipleship, mentoring or spiritual direction. Life coaching is a unique professional relationship where you will be encouraged, challenged, and inspired to think creatively and motivated to intentionally move from where you are now to where you want to be, where God wants you to be.

A coach’s job is to get you unstuck, and they do this with a number of tools, techniques, and processes designed to help you find what drives you, where you want to go, and the best way to get there.

A life coach can give you support, encouragement, wisdom and accountability so that you can:

  • discover what’s most important
  • eliminate or reduce obstacles
  • increase your energy
  • love your life!
  • achieve balance
  • celebrate success
  • manage your time
  • restore joy
  • reduce your stress
  •  be more focused

Why Clergy Life Coaching?

What makes Clergy Life Coaching different than “regular” life coaching?

Working with clergy, particularly ELCA clergy, has been a unique blessing as we have had the privilege to walk alongside pastors as they have

Deepened their Spiritual Life

Tended to their Self Care
Found Balance in Ministry

Rediscovered Sabbath Taking

Set more Realistic Expectations

Taken on their Inner Critic and Martyr

Created effective Time Management

Prevented or Reduced Burnout

Set and Acheived Ministry and Life Goals

Established Good Health Habits

Become more Organized and Efficient

Discerned, Navigated and Transitioned through the Call Process

Figured out the First Call – whether First or Second Career

Developed a new found Confidence in Ministry

And so much more…

 Through Clergy Life Coaching your coach helps you rekindle hope and shines the light of God’s grace on the dreams God put into your heart. Your coach encourages you and holds you accountable, helps you plan and cheers you on to become who God created you to be. And your coach always holds you up in prayer and is the keeper of your dreams.


Clergy Life Coaching believes in making coaching convenient and flexible!

Coaching calls are scheduled and entered in your calendar just like any other appointment. However, instead of traveling to an office for a prearranged meeting, you simply pick up the phone and start! Clients find telephone coaching appealing, efficient, and cost-effective. You will be amazed at what you will accomplish during each coaching call!

One-on-One Coaching

Typically we schedule two appointments a month for 3 – 6 months, depending on the coaching topics brought to the appointments, and then switch to one appointment per month.  Appointments are over the phone for your convenience.

Group Coaching

Group coaching sessions are typically 75-minutes in length.  Join an existing group of like-minded individuals from anywhere in the world by phone or Zoom from the comfort of your home/office.  Or, build your own group (4+ people required) and choose the frequency that works for you.  Meeting days/times, number of sessions and agenda are customized to suit the needs of your group.  Fees are $50/session.

Best of Both/Combination

For the best financial deal, combine one individual coaching session with two groups’ sessions in the same month to work more in depth with your own priorities and to personally apply concepts from the group sessions.

Support Between Sessions

In each of the above monthly coaching options, you may contact your coach between scheduled calls by email if you have questions, struggles, thoughts, praise reports, etc. to share. Occasionally, brief “spot check” phone calls may be set up via email. These contacts are included as a value-added service in your regular monthly coaching fee. Please do not hesitate to take advantage of this “extra”.


 

A Typical Clergy Life Coaching Session

You’ll choose what you want to work on, the action steps you want to take and set your own pace. The coach helps you focus your ideas into goals and action steps, offers a listening ear and challenging questions that get you thinking, and provides the support and accountability you need to follow through.

Each session begins with a progress report on your goals and action steps which you will already have provided with a prep form. Then you’ll discuss next steps, generate options, troubleshoot obstacles and develop a set of action steps you want to take before the next appointment. You are always in charge of what you want to work on.

The cost of coaching is $100 for a 45-minute session.  The typical client starts with coaching twice a month to get momentum and usually switches over to one time a month after 3 – 6 months depending on the situations they are coming with to coaching.  Contact Clergy Life Coaching for more information on fees.

Want to know about how we coach or have questions about how it works? Head over to the FAQs page or email Barbara.


Is Coaching Right for Me?

Life coaching is for you, if:

  •  You have a desire to achieve something more in your personal or professional life.
  •  You have specific goals/dreams/visions toward which you feel drawn, and desire to discern these more clearly and then act upon them
  •  You have significant life choices to consider and you want to gain objectivity and clarity in your thinking and decisions
  •  You feel stuck, stressed, unhappy, overwhelmed or unfulfilled and desire to have balance, less stress, more peace, and greater life satisfaction
  •  Major changes have occurred in your life, what to do seems confusing or overwhelming, and you want to increase your ability to make positive steps forward to change your life
  •  You are ready to grow into a new direction in life
  •  You desire to figure out where to start in re-creating your life
  •  You are ready to experience more of being the powerful and impactful individual God purposed for you to be, more than you have been able to before

 

 Don’t waste another minute trying to live the call all by yourself: get a coach!

Imagine more energy and passion for your ministry and life!

Coaching empowers you to discover and live the life you were called to live. As your coach, we can help you order your life around the things you value most and help you more fully experience the “abundant life” God calls you to.

 

A few months of coaching can powerfully change the way you live the rest of your life!

It works!

Just hear how Clergy Life Coaching has helped pastors just like you…

“I have tried individual Spiritual Direction, Clergy Group Spiritual Direction and participated in other coaching programs. All these experiences were good but I was always looking for something more substantial and now I have found that in working with [Clergy Life Coaching]. The benefits of Clergy Life Coaching directly benefit me the pastor but then this blessing extends out to my family and congregations as well.”

“Having worked with a Clergy Life Coach over the last 3 months, I have much more confidence in the long term sustainability of my career as a parish pastor…her support has helped me to steward my time, energy, and gifts without apology.”

“Each session enabled me to look through new lenses as my professional, and personal goals were evaluated and developed…The result has been very positive and beneficial to my personal and professional life.”

(You can read more testimonials here)


 

Ready? Let’s get started!

Want to get started on figuring out where coaching might be helpful? Check out the About Life Coaching page.

Barbara Solsaa

 Having worked with pastors in a variety of settings for over 25 years, I have a unique understanding of many of the day to day issues pastors face – balance with work and family – taking their Sabbath – getting ministries going in their churches – feeling stuck – feeling lonely and isolated.

My passion is working with people in ministry, helping them to prioritize the myriad of expectations in their lives, getting them reconnected with the passions that initially drew them into the ministry to begin with.

My Story

As a former therapist, many pastors shared their concerns with me but it didn’t feel like they needed therapy to get over something in their past but rather support and encouragement to find better ways of moving forward in their ministries in order to support sustainability and longevity in their calls.

When I discovered coaching, I immediately set my course to enroll in a Christian coaching program with the sole intent of supporting my sisters and brothers in the ministry.

God has truly blessed this ministry, walking alongside ministry professionals through the coaching process.

A little about me personally is that I am married to a wonderful man, Arvin and together we have three beautiful daughters – Natasha, Nastia and Annie. I am a passionate reader, I love to knit, walking in the woods reenergizes me and connecting with friends is life giving.

Arvin and Barbara

Nastia, Annie and Natasha

Credentials & Ministry Experience

Credentials

  • Professional Certified Coach (PCC) through the International Coach Federation (ICF)
  • Over 150 hours of certified professional coach training
  • Member of the International Coach Federation
  • Member of the Christian Coaches Network
  • Certified Human Behavior Consultant (DISC inventory)
  • Healthy Start Regional Director — working with congregations during the first year of a new pastoral ministry
  • MSW, University of Illinois, Chicago Campus
  • BA, Luther College, Decorah, IA
  • Author (see Resources page)

Ministry Experience

  • Peer Coach Coordinator for the Northwest Synod of Wisconsin (ELCA)
  • Professional Christian speaker presenting at dozens of events over the years
  • Worked at Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan (church and community relations, church programs, therapist) for 17 years
  • Missionary in Tanzania

Tammy L. Devine

Tammy Devine is a strategic and systemic whole person promoter of well-being, through education and inspiration. Devine collaborates with thought leaders to facilitate and motivate whole person lifestyle choices and serves as an external wellness consultant and coach to integrate well-being.

Deacon Tammy Devine is a registered nurse, (BA, Augustana University, Sioux Falls), and holds a Master’s in leadership from Luther Seminary. She has completed preparation as a parish nurse/coordinator, and  completed Coach training through Auburn Theological Seminary.

Devine is ICF Certified and focuses on health, Healing, and Wholeness. She served as the Wellness Manager for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, serving the church through Portico Benefit Services.

Credentials, Education & Ministry Experience

Purpose

  • I am passionate about healing and wholeness for all. I am called to accompany, equip and empower God’s people to live from their gifts and values and support them as they grow in their understanding of who they have been created to be, while remembering whose they are.

Credentials

  • Throughout my life I have struggled to find my voice. After a series of family deaths, and a difficult divorce, I have been living into my prophetic voice. I am a Deacon in the ELCA currently serving as ELCA Wellness Manager who focuses on whole person well-being. I am a healer, known as a truth teller, and change agent. I am passionate about helping all people un-wrap their gifts, name their core values and align and share their gifts and values for the sake of wholeness, (recognizing every member is needed for the body to be whole).

Education:

  • BA Nursing: Augustana College, Sioux Falls, South Dakota (1977-1981)
  • Parish Nurse Preparation Concordia Parish Nurse Center: Concordia College, Moorhead, MN (1995)
  • Parish Nurse Coordinator Preparation International Parish Nurse Center: Chicago, Illinois (1997)
  • Masters of Arts Leadership Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN (2000)
  • Consecrated and called as Diaconal Minister Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (2000)
  • Grace Institute for Spiritual Formation: Luther College, Decorah Iowa (2012)
  • Auburn Pastoral Coach Training: Auburn Theological Seminary, New York (2014)
  • AC Coach Certified: International Coach Federation Accreditation (2016)

Experience

  • Registered Nurse: Arlington Community Hospital (1981-1984)
  • Director of Nursing: Southern Metro Medical Clinics (1984-1995)
  • Parish Nurse Coordinator Martin Luther Manor (1995-2000)
  • Director of Wellness Martin Luther Manor (2000-2004)
  • ELCA Wellness Manager ELCA Board of Pensions/Portico Benefit Services (2004-2018)

Volunteer

  • I serve on the Board for LeaderWise
  • Past member of Board of Directors for Spirit in the Desert Retreat Center
  • Northern Wings Spirit in the Desert
  • Various roles at Peace Lutheran Church
  • I value family in the broadest definition. I have a blended family, four children, and eleven grandchildren.

 

Our Commitment to You

As your coach, we will be committed to your:

  • Goals – You set the agenda and you choose the goals. Your coach will pray for you, listen carefully to you, ask purposeful questions, and help you achieve the goals that you set.
  • Encouragement – Your coach is your personal cheerleader. It is our job to encourage, challenge, support and affirm you as you explore new avenues in your life.
  • Accountability – Your coach will plan to partner with you in holding you accountable for the changes you decide to make. Your coach will strive to help you achieve what you set out to do and at the same time attain a healthy balance in your life. You are the one who will decide what accountability is needed and when.
  • Growth – Your coach will lend you strengths in listening, discerning, providing clarity, creative thinking, brainstorming, strategizing, energizing and motivating. While your coach cannot implement the changes you desire, your coach will cheer you on; the action and results will then be up to you.
  • Confidentiality – Our coaching relationship and all our conversations are strictly confidential unless you choose to share that information. 

 


 

Now that you know about us…we would love to get to know you!

We would love to be given the opportunity to get to know you better and to work with you – figuring out where you want to go and how to get there! We would love to go on that journey with you, empowering you to:

  • clarify your goals
  • create action plans
  • overcome roadblocks and
  • reach your goals

Contact us today, and together we can explore and discover the wonderful plans God has for you!

As a pastor or ministry leader, are you feeling…

  • Stressed? Stuck? Torn between church work and family life?
  • As though there is a dream project/ministry just outside your ability to make time for it?
  • Your “devotional” time consists of text study and sermon prep?
  • As though you haven’t experienced a Sabbath day in 7 weeks let alone 7 days?
  • Overworked, overwhelmed and unfulfilled?

You are not alone!

Perhaps you can relate to the disciples, faced with the prospect of feeding 5,000 hungry mouths with just a few loaves and fishes. Sometimes the needs are overwhelmingly greater than the resources at your disposal, and not just the physical resources, but the emotional and spiritual ones as well.

As a pastor or ministry leader, you walk alongside others, helping them grow in their faith, meet God in their circumstances, and seek a faith that is real.

 

Who is walking with you?

Imagine a time set apart to focus on you and your God-given goals.

Previous Clergy Life Coaching clients have reported the following benefits: